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New Sites Abandoned by Googlebot

Mike Banks Valentine writes this excellent piece on the plight of new websites in their quest to be ranked by Google.



“As a search engine optimization specialist I often optimize existing web pages for small business clients, upload them to the site and see pages re-indexed by Google within a week.

This only happens with existing business sites that have been online for a few years. Google seems to be updating their index as often as every other week at this point and older established sites that are already indexed seem to be re- crawled on that twice a month schedule on a fairly routine basis.

Two clients that hired me for recent work saw their rankings shoot to the top for a newly targeted search phrase in a weekend when I did optimization on a Thursday and they were ranked instantly by Saturday. Now keep in mind that this doesn’t happen for everyone, only those that have been online for some period and already have significant content that simply needs tweaking and proper title and metatag information added. They usually have relatively good existing PageRank and do well for other RELEVANT search phrases already. I offer that warning only to avoid instilling false hopes in anyone hoping to achieve the same instant ranking boost overnight.”

Read more at Sites Abandoned by Googlebot

Product and Brand Names are Best Keywords

The Daily Rundown (link removed as the site is no longer there)has this interesting piece of analysis about what people are searching for on Google.

‘ 28% of Google searches are for a “product name”, 9% are for a “brand name” and 5% are searches for a “company name”. “Brand” keywords also have a 8x higher ROI than generic keywords. Not sure if that is for all searches or just consumer-product related searches, but either way it demonstrates the importance of making sure your site shows up on the SERPs for your brand.’

Now that is some useful information that fits pretty well with the anecdotal evidence that I’ve seen over the past year. So if you’re reviewing, previewing or just talking about a product you should be as specific as possible with your keywords – put them in your title, in your image tags, and make sure they’re included numerous times in the body of your post.

Search Engine Optimization FAQs

SEO – Seven Most Often Asked Questions is a good article with some FAQs that people often ask about Search Engine Optimization complete with answers that should help anyone wanting to optimize their sites for Search Engines. The first FAQ is:

‘Please help! My website has been banned! I cannot find it anywhere in Google or even in AltaVista for that matter. Since 3 years now, I have been following all the great advice you give in your newsletter and on your website. I’ve always been number 3 or 4 on the first SERP of Google, but now I just cannot find my site anywhere! What should I do? ‘

To Outward Link or not to Outward link….

There is a good article from Wayne Hurlbert at SEO Chat about the pros and cons of outward bound links in terms of SEO on your blog.

“Few topics in search engine optimization (SEO) cause as many heated disputes as the concept of linking out to other sites. Whenever the subject of linking to other sites arises in conversation or on and Internet message forum, the sides in the debate are certain to become very polarized….

Most SEO professionals tend to agree that linking out provides no real boost in link popularity. They rightly point to the fact that the search engines, and especially link-obsessed Google, reward incoming links. The search engines provide no weight to the links going to other websites. With that in mind, many website owners are reluctant to link out to other sites….

Outbound links are not all bad, according to many Internet marketing specialists. By linking out to other related sites, a visitor is provided with even more helpful information on the topic. Sending to traffic to other useful websites is especially important for purely informational sites….”

Read more at Linking Out: Finding the Benefits

Google traffic dropped dramatically for many sites

There is an interesting thread over at Webmaster World’s forums that indicates that a significant number of web masters have noticed a drastic reduction in referals from Google in the past few days. Some are reporting decreases in in Google visitors from numbers like 2000 to 350 or 30,000 to 5,000.

In checking my stats in the past few days I’ve not noticed such a decrease – although it would be my worst nightmare as over 90% of my blogs traffic comes from Google at present and such a decrease would result in a similar reduction in advertising revenue.

Have others noticed such a decrease in Google’s traffic?

Do forum signature links help PageRank and SERPS?

One of the tips I’ve seen given in many SEO articles is that if you add your blog’s URL as a signature in your messages left in forums that you’ll increase your Search Engine Ranking. It makes sense, especially if you use the keywords you’re targeting – however Search Engine FAQ is running a test on the theory and so far it seems that such a strategy is yet to prove to be helpful in increasing page rank.

Read more about this test at Do forum signature links help PageRank and SERPS?

All is not lost however trolling forums to promote your site in signatures is your strategy because it can still send significant traffic to your site if you choose the right forums and are genuine in your comments.

Getting your blog to the top of the Search Engines

Search Engine News Journal has posted 10 great tips to get your blog ranked at the top of the Search Engines. I really like their approach because they acknowledge that it takes time to get your blog high up the rankings. I also like this tip about ‘titles’:

‘Create a killer Title tag. Title tags are critical because they’re given a lot of weight with all of the search engines. You must put your keyword phrases into this tag and not waste space with extra words. Do not use the Title tag to display only your company name, or to simply say “Home Page.” Think of this tag more as a “Title Keyword Tag” and create it accordingly. It should reflect exactly what your page is about, using the keyword phrases people might be using at a search engine to find your company.’

Read more at Search Engine News Journal – Ten Tips to the Top of the Search Engines and read more about how titles are everything.

Blog Referal Statistics as an SEO Tool

SEO Scoop suggests that your blog’s log files (or stats package – especially key word referrers) are a great tool for optimizing your site for search engines. This is good news because one of the most useful SEO tools that you have at your disposal is right at your fingertips! They write:

“The log files from your web site traffic can be an important aspect of your SEO research. You can find an amazing amount of information embedded within the logs. For example, today I noticed seven search terms that are doing very well in Yahoo that I was unaware of. These are terms I had not thought of and had not optimized for, but people are flowing into the site using those terms. In addition, Yahoo is outranking Google in terms of traffic for the site I am talking about.”

I check my referrals from Google regularly to see how people are finding my site. As written above you can be quite surprised at how people stumble upon your site. I remember about a year ago I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits to my blog from people searching for ‘Australian Idol’ (an Aussie TV show). I’d written a post about the show and not really thought any more about it until I saw all the hits I was getting to it. As a result I became a regular writer about the show and then this year have been involved with the owners of Idol Blog who watched my success last year.

So the lesson is simply to watch how people are finding your blog and if the opportunity exists write more on the topic!

More Search Engine Optimization tips for your Blog

There is a lot of articles out there about how to optimize your blog for search engines – Google in-particularly – but this one has some pretty handy tips on SEO and promoting your blog. The key one really is to find ways to get others to link to your site – using the keywords you are targeting on your search engine.

Of course this isn’t always easy – I get emails every day from people asking me to link to them, sometimes for reciprocal links, but 99% of the time they go straight to the trash bin. People WILL link to you if you write quality content and treat them with respect and genuineness. It is also worth thinking a little creatively about this also – if you can actually provide other sites and bloggers with a service that will benefit their blog whilst still giving you a link (with your targeted wording) you can do quite well. This is why our ‘mini medal table’ at our recent Olympics Blog was so successful. We provided bloggers with a free medal table that was updated live with medals won – but the table contained around 12 links back to our site using keywords that we’d chosen such as ‘Medal Table’ which linked to our medal table page. This page was hugely successful during the games – it ranked #1 on google and because it was one of the most searched for terms those weeks we generated hundreds of thousands of visitors.

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